Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan may be the world's last survivor in this terrifically funny illustrated novel from Brallier (Galactic Hot Dogs) and Holgate (the Case File 13 series). When a "Monster Apocalypse" comes to the town of Wakefield, some escape, others are "zombified," and still others--Jack hopes--are in hiding. As a foster child, Jack has had his share of hard knocks, so he tries to take his situation in stride and with wisecracking humor. With a tree house refuge "that's better-defended than Fort Knox, Stark Tower, and the X-Mansion combined," Jack searches for sustenance, other living people--especially his best friend Quint and his dream girl June--and weapons to fight hideous monsters and undead neighbors. Holgate's b&w cartoons (not all seen by PW) mix splatter-and-slime-heavy action sequences with humorous character profiles (a portrait of a "winged wretch" points out the creature's "huge, hooked talons like a freaking velociraptor"), all playing into Jack's gamified take on post-apocalyptic life. Snarky end-of-the-world fun. Ages 8-12. Author's agent: Daniel Lazar, Writers House. Illustrator's agency: Shannon Associates. (Oct.)Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
Gr 3-6—An apocalyptic monster attack has destroyed the town of Wakefield, leaving gigantic, slime-filled creatures in its wake. It appears that the entire population has been turned into zombies, except for 13-year-old Jack Sullivan. Jack is an abandoned foster kid trying to survive the catastrophe while living in a tricked-out tree house. In his daily fight for survival, which includes hand-to-hand combat using makeshift weapons, he locates two of his fellow students. One's a science geek, and the other's an oversize school bully. They unite to form a small army and set off to rescue a classmate they believe is trapped in their decimated school. The chapter book/graphic novel hybrid is fast moving and action packed. Loaded with outrageous devices such as a rolling ball of zombies, a revenge-filled creature with bad eyesight called BLARGH, and a monster-dog name Rover, this book provides loads of laughs. The characters are fully developed and honest in their adolescent interactions. Yet what sets this story apart from the typical gross-out fare is how these modern-day action heroes work through their emotions, which include love, loss, and extreme fear. Dynamic pencil sketches add to the hilarity. For readers looking to make the transition from chapter books to graphic novels, this is a foolproof initiation. VERDICT A gross-out good time with surprisingly nuanced character development.—Sada Mozer, Los Angeles Public LibraryCopyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.